In the past 10 years I’ve played 84 of our inaugural GB&I Top 100. It’s not an especially tough job, and no one has to do it, but I have.
I’ve actually played all 100 in my life, but just not all of the 100 in the last decade. So when thinking of the best holes from the last 10 years my agonising was narrowed down slightly because I haven’t played a few of the stellar names such as Sunningdale (Old) and Muirfield in that time.
Still, it was an impossible task and if I was asked to do this again next year – or even next month, or frankly tomorrow – I’m sure I’d come up with a notably different selection.
Anyway, this selection has holes from all four corners of GB&I, features both links and inland holes and includes holes where par is frankly unlikely for most of us but also others where you’ve got a chance of birdie.
That I couldn’t find room for anything from Lahinch, Portrush, Prestwick, Machrihanish, North Berwick, St Enodoc or Royal St George’s is as surprising as it is annoying. Next time…
1st, St Andrews (Old)
Par 4, 367 yards
“It’s nothing more than a flat wide fairway with a stream!” I can hear some of you think, despairingly.
Well it is that, but obviously not just that. And not only because the Swilcan makes the approach shot tricky, especially when you are being silly with a tight club selection.
But like the whole of the ‘Old experience’ itself, it is about way more than the course. I’ve probably asked more than 30 tour pros if they still get a thrill standing on the 1st tee and every single one has confirmed they do.
And if that cynical bunch still find it special, it must be.